Music Reviews



Alcalica: ΥΔΩΡ

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Experimental / Avantgarde / Weird & Wired / Glitch / Noise / Field Recording
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Jun 02 2015
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Artist: Alcalica
Title: ΥΔΩΡ
Format: 12"
Label: Photovoltaic Records
Rated: *****
Named after the Greek word for "water", this new album by Alcalica, an interesting duo by Anglo-Greek producer Leon Danezos (caring beats and electronics as well as other instruments such as Iranian santoor or Greek baglamas) and Italian/German artist Julie Loi (the lyricist and the poet of this bicephalous entity as well as the playr of African kalimba and other small instruments) renders the ideal sonic bridge between Berlin and Lesbos, the cities where they mainly operates. The daily trial of strenght between Greece and Germany, which is going to leave deep grooves on European contemporary history, and some topical issues of some Alcalica's songs such as "Gladio", referring to the same-named anti-subversive organization within Italian secret service, which was involved in a number of massacres and bombing attempts as well as in surgical manipulation of public opinion, the emotional portrait of stark reality within a world where rich people get richer and richer at the expense of the poor ones on "Fear" or the title-track, which refers to the problem of access to clean water by most of people on our planet and the related business of bottled mineral water, makes their impressive stylistical crossbreed (they used to call it "Industrial World Music") even more attractive: the matching between elements from Rebetiko tradition and its hypnotic melodies, a style of Greek folk music which became the voice of marginalized people in many moments of modern Greek history, enchanting Aegean melodies and bass-driven electronic music is clear since the opening "Crumbling" where a sort of slightly corrosive trip-hop movement balance the livid tirade by Julie and the sallow anguished tones of Rebetiko melodies.

Dexta: Mini Rave (James Bless RIP)/The Bunker ft.Gaunt

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 26 2015
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Artist: Dexta (@)
Title: Mini Rave (James Bless RIP)/The Bunker ft.Gaunt
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: None60
Rated: *****
Sometimes they do come back. If I had to introduce an horror movie, you would think I was referring to zombies, vampires, aliens or other kind of monsters, but even if the comparison might also be appropriate, this is clearly not the case. Those "they" was referring to some old sounds that Chris Boyle grafted in this new couple of tracks for Bristol-based label None60 by which he confirms to have a great talent in building steadfast sonic bridges between past and future of bass-driven music as it occurred on his previous release "Tempest Dub/Mukky Riddim", which included many hooks to old grime sonorities: the first track by Diffrent Music label boss, "Microrave (James Bless RIP)", rests on easily recognizable sonic pillars of old-fashioned British Acid Rave 90ies sound such as triplet hi-hats, looped pitched vocal samples, trancey chords and so on, but its crossbreed with new grime-step sonorities is pretty amazing as well as the grimey-dubbey tune "The Bunker", which features the collaboration of Finnish guitarist Mika Aalto aka Gaunt, whose pillar is old school jungle and drumfunk sonorities. A tidbit for your eardrums to check.

Pennygiles: Looking In ft.Ed:it

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
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May 16 2015
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Artist: Pennygiles (@)
Title: Looking In ft.Ed:it
Format: 12"
Label: Tempo
Rated: *****
Dutch label Tempo Records launches his first pre-summer sonic bullet by means of three tracks from Welsh d'n'b talent Stuart macallum aka Pennygiles, whose name maybe landed here for some stuff on IM:ltd or Fokuz. "Looking In", the track he co-signed with Ed Warrener aka Ed:it which gives the name to this single, sounds like a more "sharky" and bouncy restyle of some legendary tunes by Omni Trio - besides likewise hyperkinetic, it sounds definitevely less "junglized" than "Set Theory", their previously co-signed track "Set Theory" for C.I.A. Records -, but the nervously electric basslines over fast running vibes also drench the rhythmical grounds of the more soulful stuff that you'll find on the flipside of the vynil release, so that the emotional nuance of the vocal tracks "Lie Through Me" and "Without Worry" is not incompatible with d'n'b parties at all. This drum'n'bass precious trinket by Pennygiles is going to be available both on digital stores and as a crystal clear vynil in the first days June. Check it out!

Survey: Chop Chop EP

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 16 2015
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Artist: Survey
Title: Chop Chop EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: Translation Recordings (@)
Rated: *****
Berlin-based duo Survey mould another excellent hybrid of atmospheric bass-driven music, really precise cuts and wise rhythmical contraptions on this forthcoming release (the full release will be available on 25th May) for Translation Recordings. The menacingly immersive sound and the masterfully chiseled rhythmical patterns of the opening "Acting Posh" immediately belay listener's mood down in a deeply hypnotic cave before the excellent title-track "Chop Chop" - undoubtedly the best moment of this release -, where they managed to turn an 85bpm dub-technoid movement into a really captivating entity that is going to irrigate body and soul by means of a sneaking sequence of crawling sonic particles that sound like coming from a contaminated nuclear plant. Beats per minute significantly rise and bassline becomes a little bit more aggressive on "Paperhands", where a simple 2-step movement got infected by catchy neurofunk sonorities, while the final "Pressure" hangs all previous elements together by a combination of elements of the previous stages. Survey can reasonably become a stylistical template for contemporary state of the art of drum'n'bass and this release is a further proof of their excellent skills in sound design, which can push drum'n'bass scene to levels, which could be even higher than the ones that got already reached.

Silent Dust: Lone ft HOF / The Deku Tree

 Posted by Vito Camarretta (@)   Techno / Trance / Goa / Drum'n'Bass / Jungle / Tribal / Trip-Hop
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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May 12 2015
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Artist: Silent Dust
Title: Lone ft HOF / The Deku Tree
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: None60
Rated: *****
Bristol-based None60's purpose seems to renew the important role of that vibrant city in the field of contemporary music. Having been the hometown of Portishead, Massive Attack, Smith'n'Mighty as well as the base of many great d'n'b producers and clubs, Bristol can undoubtedly become the lighthouse of bass-driven music again thanks to a number of newcomers and veterans that are shaking the grounds and the catalogues of labels like None60. This time it was the turn of the illegitimate sons of well-known British paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse, as Uk producers Andy Hobbs aka Hobzee and Dan Blishen aka Zyon Base defined themselves. Even if they were born respectively in Kent and Manchester, Bristol is the city where they mainly operates by means of their imprint None60, whose main mission, in their own words, is the removal of "all limitations of genre, tempo and convention". In order to give an idea of what you're going to listen before you check the two tracks by your eardrums, I could approximately define their sound as a sort of chillstep (I violate the first amendment), running at half tempo (I violated the second amendment as well), but before someone puts a jinx or an arrest warrant to me, I can certify that both tracks are really unconventional: HOF voice mastefully oozes honey on the mellow half tempo of "Lone", while that honey turns into psychedelic resin on the following "The Deku Tree" - I could guess they are fans of "The Legend of Zelda"! -. Silent Dust confirms to be one of the most interesting acts in the general renaissance of bass music at the moment!


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